LSU

LSU head coach Ed Orgeron, left, and quarterback Joe Burrow, center, hold the trophy beside safety Grant Delpit after a the College Football Playoff national championship game against Clemson Monday in New Orleans. LSU won 42-25.

LSU capped the most impressive season in college football in some time Monday with a resounding victory over the defending champions.

LSU’s Joe Burrow flat out out-played Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, throwing five touchdown passes, running  for another score and finished off one of the most accomplished seasons in college football history by leading the top-ranked Tigers to a 42-25 victory against No. 3 Clemson  in the playoff final.

The Tigers (14-1) had won Lawrence’s first 25 starts, but LSU was just too athletic and too fast on defense for Lawrence to get rolling.

Lawrence (18 for 37 for 234 yards) was no match for Burrow — the Ohio State transfer who threw all of 16 TD passes last season with LSU.

“He’s one of the greatest players in LSU history,” Tigers coach Ed Orgeron said. “He’s done so much for the state of Louisiana and LSU. We are so grateful to Joe Burrow.

“He’s going to go down as one of the greatest Tigers ever.”

Burrow’s story of being an OSU reject and finding a home with Coach O is great. It’s one told many times in many different ways in  recent weeks. But I give Ed Orgeron the most credit for this marvelous season. He rolled the dice on Burrow and believed in him from the jump.

Under a shower of gold and purple confetti, I watched Coach O raise the championship trophy while fighting back tears. He’s no longer a football punchline; he’s a national championship coach.

I had a one-on-one interview in Greenwood not long after he was first hired at Ole Miss. I walked away thinking this guy could get me to run through a wall, but I still felt like he would struggle at Ole Miss, at least from a fit standpoint. As you know, he coached just two seasons in Oxford.

I was impressed with the first-time head coach. He was on a mission, albeit one he eventually failed at.  

But Orgeron learned from his mistakes and put everything into his dream job once LSU made the controversial decision to hire him.

There was plenty of skepticism about the Cajun who had failed in his first crack as a head coach.

Orgeron brought Joe Brady in to run a version of the New Orleans Saints offense — a move that paid huge dividends for Burrow and the Tigers.

 Orgeron has proved to be the perfect fit for LSU — just  like Burrow. It’s a great American sports story.

We love to see folks make the most of second chances.

nContact Bill Burrus at 581-7237 or bburrus@gwcommonwealth.com.

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